The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that about 80 percent of
American motorists this year are buckling up their safety belts, an
all-time record. It represents a one-percent increase from last year.
Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia allow police
to stop and ticket drivers for not buckling up (as the only offense).
Seat-belt use was highest in the West at 84 percent, and lowest in the
Midwest at 77 percent. New Hampshire has the lowest seat-belt use, while
Hawaii has the highest.
In 1983, the national belt-use rate was only 14 percent.